Hillary Clinton will not be the only target of allies of Donald Trump should he lose the election – conservatives also are girding for battle with House Speaker Paul Ryan, the New York Times reported.
According to the newspaper, some GOP lawmakers, along with Trump and some of his senior aides, are "fanning the flames for a revolt" against the Wisconsin lawmaker when Congress reconvenes after the election.
Trump has allegedly said in private Ryan pay for his disloyalty, the Times reported, citing two unnamed sources.
"The people are very angry with the leadership of this party, because this is an election that we will win, 100 percent, if we had support from the top," Trump told Reuters.
Though a role for Trump in the party should he lose Nov. 8 is unclear, his campaign chairman Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News, is "particularly intent on forcing . . . Ryan out," the Times reported.
"There's a huge chunk of people who want to see a fight taken to D.C.," Virginia Rep. Dave Brat, a member of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, told the Times.
"Leadership comes and smacks our guy? That's where you're going to put down a marker? Really? And the American people are just scratching their head saying, 'Really? That's rich.'"
Ryan "better pivot," he added. "He'd better pivot hard."
Another Freedom Caucus member, Ohio Rep. Warren Davidson of Ohio, wants GOP leaders to focus on issues that've been the core of Trump's candidacy – trade and immigration.
"You can't ignore what millions and millions of people have expressed in this election cycle," Davidson told the Times.
Added Michael Needham, the chief executive of Heritage Action: "If the party doesn't learn lessons and change based on what's gone on for the last year and a half, I think it's going to be just catastrophe."
But New York GOP Rep. Peter King said removing Ryan is not a certainty.
"I think you'd find a real backlash, and a real reaction to that, I'd say, from a solid majority of the Republican conference," King said of efforts to remove Ryan. "You can't take people who are going to use their veto power and put them in charge."
And former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Trump adviser, said an ouster is "a dead end, and I would not advise any of my friends to waste a lot of energy on it."
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